Tuesday, August 07, 2018

GOP has lost interest in "voluntarism"; more on national service, even conscription

In the Washington Post Sunday Outlook section, Benjamin Soskis discusses the erosion of conservative ideas of volunteerism.  In print, it is “Any Volunteers?” Online, “Republicans used to celebrate voluntarism and service. What happened?” The short answer is Trump, with cuts in federally sponsored service programs. 

Yet at a local level the social pressures remain strong (to build cross-cultural social capital).

The article discusses the Service Year Alliance, which is trying to create the impulse for all young adults to spend one year in minimally compensated service, like the military.  This is a case of a private group trying to have the force of a public institution. Should older adults be included and be expected to do tours after retirement? 
David Hogg tweeted that he would be registered for the draft at 18, but actually he has to take the step to register.  The Selective Service page on “Why Register?” describes SS as a “relatively low cost insurance policy for our nation”.  Yes, if you’re a male.  (That is a birth male, if trans.)  High cost for you if you are killed or maimed.  But, as Hogg knows, civilians are exposed to hostility too.   In any case, an actual draft (which could include women if the law were changed) seems unlikely – unless we have something like a nuclear or EMP/cyber attack.

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